I was sitting down to take the time to write about the Be Brave day one ride, but I cannot concentrate enough to do it. I have so many other things ticking over in my head and one of them is the feeling of letting people down. I truly want to make something of Be Brave, and I also wished that my 4 day journey would have seen the government stand up more and make change. I know I won’t give up, it isn’t in me to do that. Although I need some time to process it, and be with my loved ones. I still believe we need a Council setup for children at risk of abuse. My next steps personally are to build a Be Brave website when I have the resources to do so, create a Be Brave community of runners, and cyclists and share my story more. There is so much more to it, and I know I have the support I need to help make a community happen. It is just a matter of me being ready and asking for that help. So please don’t feel I am not doing anything, not thinking about it all, and not training for the next adventure. I actually haven’t stopped training knowing that I am still needing to help others to be brave too.
In July I have the amazing opportunity to open up an art exhibition for adult survivors of child abuse in Wollongong. I feel really honoured to have this opportunity and I feel I can offer something of my own with my story of being brave. I used to use art as my outlet, and now I use sport. I don’t even remember the day that I pushed the art aside. I do however remember my first run, which opened up a whole new way of saving myself from the pain of abuse.
I was sick from school, and the school couldn’t get a hold of my mum, and my father had to come and pick me up. He was angry with me. I remember feeling it in the car. This was the time that my father was using his anger with physical violence instead of sexual assault. He had a new girlfriend, so I guess he didn’t need me anymore. We went inside his house. It wasn’t the same home I was abused in all of those years. He had only recently moved into this new home. I remember him hanging out the washing and talking to me. He came inside and started yelling at me. I don’t remember what I did, or what I said. But he was angry. He slapped me in the face. I kicked him in the balls. I was crying and remember yelling back at him. He picked up the yellow pages and through them at my head. He went back outside as if nothing had happened. I saw the front door, looked back at him out the back door, and saw he wasn’t watching me. I ran. And I didn’t look back.
With my art, I had personally finished. It was my voice to be heard and to share what was happening to me. We all use it for what we need it for, and I had done that. I am truly looking forward to seeing how other survivors of abuse have used their art, and continue to use it in expressing how they feel, their stories, their hope, their beauty and their journeys. Even if you haven’t been abused, you are on a journey, and we all have stories to share. We all use ways of expressing ourselves, and for me that is sport, my big voice, and the words I write.
I guess that is my art now. And I need to find that subject so I can continue my artwork.
Be Brave. H